Inspiration for The Gracie Series
Grace LaJoy became inspired to write The Gracie Series after a funny real life situation concerning the mailman delivering a tin of popcorn and leaving it outside behind a bush when there was no one available to receive it. After searching for the delivered popcorn, she actually found the popcorn behind the bush. Her co-worker said, "you should write a little children's book about your experience." So, Grace LaJoy set out to write the first book in the series, “Popcorn Behind the Bush” just for fun. But, more story ideas from her real life childhood experiences began to come to her mind. So, she wrote about ten stories all at once and decided to begin The Gracie Series with only six of them. The name Gracie stems from the fact that the author was affectionately called “Gracie” by her siblings when she was a little girl.
Where it all began
Grace LaJoy began writing at a very early age, keeping her first poem when she was only 12 years old. Over the years she shared her poems with family, friends, at school and at church. Ultimately, she became the "go to" person when her church members needed poems written to honor and appreciate their family and friends. Her desire to share her poetry more widely led her to create 20 laminated posters, with illustrated backgrounds, featuring her poetry.
Grace LaJoy's career as an author began in 2003 when she wrote and published her first book of poetry, for which she received an endorsement from the famous author and motivational speaker, Les Brown. She went on to write over 20 books, like Writer’s Breakthrough: Steps to Copyright and Publish Your Own Book, to help aspiring authors who do not know where to begin, and her foster care story, A Gifted Child in Foster Care: A story of resilience, which shares how she overcame a very challenging childhood.
Speaker, Workshop Leader
In addition to being an author, Grace LaJoy is also a speaker and workshop leader. She has been an approved speaker for Stonecroft Ministries since 2009. Since 2003, she has served as guest speaker and guest poet at schools, colleges, churches and other organizations; and has conducted book publishing workshops for aspiring authors. She has catered to both youth and adult audiences.
Grace LaJoy Henderson received her Doctorate in Christian Counseling with an emphasis in Writing and Research, from Faith Bible College in Independence, Missouri. She earned two masters degrees, in Education, and Curriculum and Instruction, from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Her bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology is from Park University in Parkville, Missouri. Her associates degree in Office Management is from the Metropolitan Community Colleges in Kansas City, Missouri.
Experience with children
Grace LaJoy has an array of experiences working with children in both school and community settings. She served at the Kansas City, Missouri School district as a Lead Family Worker, Parent-School Liaison, and Student Discipline Specialist. She managed a contract with the Missouri Children’s Division, in which she provided court-ordered services for children in foster care and their birth parents. She has also volunteered her time as Children’s Church Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Department Leader, Youth Drama Director, and Vacation Bible School Teacher.